Attorney General William Barr could have booked his holiday party virtually anywhere on the face of the earth, but he chose to use Donald Trump’s D.C. hotel as the venue, and his boss will pocket tens of thousands of dollars as a result.
According to a new report from The Washington Post, “Barr booked President Trump’s D.C. hotel for a 200-person holiday party in December that is likely to deliver Trump’s business more than $30,000 in revenue.”
It’s the latest instance of Trump quite literally profiting from his office, despite his bogus claims that he is losing a bundle of money by being president.
More from The Post:
Barr signed a contract, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, for a “Family Holiday Party” in the hotel’s Presidential Ballroom Dec. 8. The party will feature a buffet and a four-hour open bar for about 200 people.
Barr, the nation’s top law enforcement official, has previously faced criticism for adopting language that hews closely to Trump’s. For example, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III complained that Barr’s characterization of his investigation — which closely mirrored the president’s — “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of Mueller’s final report. Experts have cited that and other examples in questioning Barr’s independence from the president.
“It creates the appearance that high-level political appointees or allies of the president may feel like they need to spend money at the president’s businesses as a show of loyalty, and that is something that makes me deeply uncomfortable and should make taxpayers deeply uncomfortable,” said Liz Hempowicz, director of public policy at the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight.
Meanwhile, the DOJ is defending Trump’s business in court
Another twist in this swamp of ethically questionable behavior is that the Justice Department – led, of course by Barr – is currently defending Trump’s business in two court cases.
As The Washington Post also noted on Tuesday, “Both cases are being considered in federal court, and the Justice Department is defending the president’s position that he has not run afoul of the anti-corruption provisions in the Constitution called the domestic and foreign emoluments clauses.”
This news comes as Trump is publicly pitching his Florida resort for the next G7 summit, which one former U.S. attorney calls a clear violation of the law.
In the pre-Trump era of American politics, this type of unethical behavior – even one instance of it – would be enough to sink a presidency. Under Donald Trump, it’s called Tuesday.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.